Who would have thought that when we came up with the crazy idea of selling didgeridoos on the internet, we’d wind up being where we are today. Considering what was originally going to be some extra pocket money and help supplement our other jobs, neither of us imagined that the journey would become such an amazing one.
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Today marks the actual day that we went down to city hall, registered LA Outback, and applied for our business license. I remember being giddy by the idea of it as neither of us had done anything like that before. Looking at our first document was sort of like looking at the birth certificate of a child, staring and wondering… where will this go, what will the future bring, and what will it grow up into.
The early days were simple. We vended at Venice Beach, posted fliers at every college within driving distance, did a few street fairs, eventually traveling up and down the west coast searching for wholesale accounts for our Modern Didgeridoos. Within the first year we partnered with Guitar Center, working out of a tiny apartment on Hollywood Blvd. as office, warehouse, paint studio and shipping room. Very crazy times. Our lives quickly became deeply entwined with the didgeridoo, and to this day it hasn’t changed. You’ll still find didgeridoos in every nook and cranny of the house needing some sort of attention.
In 1998 we trekked to Murrieta, a small town half way to San Diego and very far from friends, to rent a house for some desperately needed expansion. We continued to work hard organizing wholesale accounts with Sam Ash and Mars Music, and within a year our Modern Didgeridoos were in over 300 stores. It was during the year 2000 that we purchased our first quiver of eucalyptus didgeridoos from Australia, something we had dreamed of doing from very early on. When they arrived it was like Christmas, and to be honest, it’s the same today each time packages arrive from Australia.
2000 was also the year we began hosting the Joshua Tree Didgeridoo Festival with Grahm & Trish Doe, Peter Spoecker, and a bevy of volunteers. Those festivals rocked! It was also the year of Barry’s first trip to Australia, traveling literally thousands of miles around the country in search of the best didgeridoos and their makers.
In 2001 we opened the store in Laguna Beach, and for three years we enjoyed an amazing experience in the secluded beach side community, embraced by the locals as one of the coolest shops in town. There was nothing like working with that magnificent view of the ocean from those big store front windows, eating lunch with your toes in the sand, and being surround by such amazing locals. But alas, the first recession in 2003 took a major toll on tourism and we knew it was time to leave.
So in January 2004 our didgeridoo trek came full circle and we ventured back to Los Angeles, settling down in the Studio City (just over the hills from Hollywood, mere miles from where it all began in that tiny apartment). The last seven plus years have been incredible here at our home-based shop, as we’ve been able to keep the business growing and also host events and classes in our humble space.
In all, the journey has been more than we could have ever dreamed of, and we’ve been thrilled to have had the pleasure of meeting so many beautiful and talented people along the way. Just know that even though we can’t personally thank each and every one of you, we send our best to you all and many of you are always in our thoughts. If you’re ever in southern California, please come by!
Happy didjin’ from,
Mark, Barry, Jorge, George, Tooey and Dubbo